The modernist fallacy in homosexual selection theories: Homosexual and homosocial exaptation in South Asian society

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Abstract:

We argue that explanations of homosexual function in evolution have often been based on homosexual organization in Western societies and on modern homosexual subcultures. We suggest that if homosexual behaviour in humans did evolve in the past 3 million years of human development, we must seek its origin in the conditions of human organization of such times. Indian village society is one model that is available for examining homosexual exaptation. Here, homosexual behaviour is based on ability to have sex with males as well as with females, and marriage is related to family and social organization rather than sex. In such a system, sexual contact between males would have the advantages of promoting homosocial bonds in a male-dominated society, and of reducing rivalry over females. It may also have the advantage of providing acceptable sexual outlets given higher sexual drive or earlier sexual maturity in males. Thus, one explanation for the evolutionary development of homosexual behaviour is that it is an exaptation of homosocial behaviour. Homosocial behaviour, including a wider set of male resources, may lead to enhanced survival. The modernist fallacy in homosexual evolutionary research can be countered by investigating homosexual behaviour in societies where sexual behaviour and organization are closest to those conditions that might have existed in humans during the evolution of homosexual behaviour in the past few million years, and not in modern times.

Keywords: EVOLUTION; EXAPTATION; HOMOSEXUAL; HOMOSOCIAL; INDIA

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14616660010024580

Affiliations: University of Texas, Houston

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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